Wednesday, September 14, 2016


I started writing this sitting in my study last Sunday having been awake for a couple of hours. I was pondering and praying, as I do. Often my early start on a Sunday is because there are things to finish and I find only the pressure of a deadline works. Last Sunday was different.

I had lots of spare time on Saturday and all prep for Sunday was accomplished. Obviously when I woke up that morning I had several ideas in my head about how to do it all better. I tweaked a few things.

But mainly I woke up early on a Sunday because that is what I do. Almost always have. Tell me why? Because I don't like Sundays. Sundays are shadow side. Sundays are small talk. Sundays are a different sort of music to my personal preference. Sundays are telling people (especially children) certainties from a background of exploration and question, if I'm not careful.

And yet Sundays are where the God I try to worship and understand and the humans I try to serve get it on. And in the crazy mix of over-commitment, lack-of-commitment and all stations between we make slow progress towards being the church of God.

Have I hit it right? Have I been doing Sundays as well as I could? Who could ever say? A colleague used to pray after every service, 'Forgive what has been amiss; use what has been in accordance with your will.' That's about right.

Often I feel I survive Sundays. And survival, as someone once wrote, is the lowest form of life. Later that Sunday a chat with old friends, a fine meal out and an evening on the sofa was enough to redeem the day and by today, Wednesday, I usually feel I could do another Sunday.

On Monday evening a bunch of us sat around and dreamed a few exciting dreams for our little church. It was good.

I have this picture, which I coloured in myself, on my study wall. Too many people focus on what they want to achieve all the time. They often fail. There is a certain sort of vision which is based on avoiding what you don't want to happen, first. Survivors get to do vision. The sunk don't.

The best way to improve the quality of a corporate experience, which you would like others to join, is not to have occasional great ones. It is to eliminate the bad. So the chances of a visitor coming along to a disappointing day are reduced. Because when my church is being rubbish, and it is occasionally, not always my fault but always my responsibility, I get that sinking feeling, that some newcomer or visitor may have been lost by that first impression, which almost always happens on a Sunday.

So I don't really like Sundays. But I accept them as a necessary part of my duties. I try not to sink. And occassionally I catch a glimpse of an amazing island.

No comments: